Effugium Carcere

The 'Atrium Summi'

A warning siren blared across the mess hall, followed by the clash of metal doors. A few inmates raised their heads from the meal, looking up as boots clattered on the iron walkways above. Black-armoured officers marched the latest detainees into the refectory, followed by rising tide of mutters.

“Fresh meat,” chuckled an inmate, drawing his cellmates’ attention. “Whadda we got here,” sneered another, elbowing his fellow convicts as the prisoners were prodded through the doors towards processing. By the time they had crossed the gantryway, a chorus of hoots and jeers had broken out.

The new inmates wore grey bodygloves and containment collars, all but a handful scarred, tattooed or buzz-cut. They seemed standard fare for the prison-ship 'Atrium Summi', but the seasoned prisoners took note of a singular few among them. Shouldering through the arrivals, a broad-shouldered bull of a man was given a wide berth. Sharing the blowfly tattoo of many of the new inmates, he had clearly been an officer of some sort, and was given an instinctive deference. Next came a sinewy man with dark hair and a hollow expression, his hard, intelligent eyes darting around the room and openly evaluating those they met. He was accompanied by a true giant, a dead-eyed tower of lean muscle. Though there were many murderers within the prison’s walls, few had the calm, coiled menace of a true killer. Finally, a servo-enhanced figure was glimpsed through the clear glass of an arrestor-pod, wheeled silently along by a servitor. Simmering down, the rowdy prisoners returned to their meals, but beady eyes would linger until the door slammed shut.


Entry 1.1- Prisonbreak

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[[Solitary cells aboard the 'Atrium Summi']]

The prisoners scattered back to their cells as the klaxons indicated the arrival of the medical servitors. Flanked by a pair of Arbites in full riot gear the dilapidated machine rumbled forward, pushing a thick needle into the neck of the unconscious prisoner. Most of the men and women turned away from the grizzly sight, many flinching as the man expired and was dragged bloodily from the room. But four men watched on, locked in their various cells they mentally recorded every detail of the process. Every step taken by the guards, ever code blurted by the servitor and ever security measure was noted to be analysed later. After all, it was this protocol they had killed the man to witness…

[The Plan]
The Panopticon simmered with tension. Less a prison than a caged vault, it was filled with the din of a thousand squabbling inmates, a consignment well beyond its capacity. Aware that fights over food and air were growing more common, Inquisitor Callidon felt a sense of urgency. Observing from the upper cell-levels, he scanned the crowd for potential allies and cast around for a plan.

Left largely to their own devices, the prisoners had formed a warped society of gang-allegiances and barter-economies. Though not the largest, one of the tougher and more vicious groups were the Flylord captives from Virbius. Led by their burly Sergeant Hadrian, they ran a distillery, drug-racket and enacted violence on anyone threatening their territory. Callidon also noted Baron Faust, an augmented exile from the Mechanicus domains. Having been forcibly de-melded from his armour, the swordsman was raw-skinned and traumatised, but possessed of vital technical skills. Callidon was also aware that any escape would rely on freeing his old friend Lothar Brinn from the iso-cells. Unfortunately, the former Vindicare candidate was kept under heavy guard, with even veteran Arbites wary of his monstrous potential for violence. Approaching each of these in turn, Callidon convened a circle of heretics who - over the weeks of planning - began to trust and rely on each other.

Callidon favoured stealth and trickery, meaning to use the psychic powers he had concealed from the guards to coordinate an escape under cover of a large disruption. Before long, his poisonous whispers had created a climate of dread, in which every prisoner feared execution at any moment. Eager to regain his “face and skin”, Faust focused on the prison’s identified weak-point, the infirmary. Studying the movements of the servo-skull med-attendants over many days, he managed to trap and jury-rig a drone without notice, providing a ticket out of the monitored cell-blocks. Hadrian offered to stoke panic and trigger a riot with mass poisonings and killings. Gathering his most zealous comrades, he arranged a supply of improvised weapons and made ready to pollute the water supply. Brinn was largely silent, confident in his ability to kill his way free if the others first got him loose from solitary. When the Atrium Summi shuddered back into reality, everyone aboard felt the lurch in their stomachs. For the plotters, this was the moment they had readied for.

The Baron’s retrofitted drone dutifully reported ailments in each of the conspirators, requiring urgent transmission to the med-bay. Under guard, the conspirators were bound to grav-gurneys and steered through the rusting corridors towards the infirmary.


Entry 1.2- On the Loose

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[[The Infirmary]]

The ship shuddered and screams filled the halls. The blaring of sirens was audible even above the din of battle, as nearby a group of armsmen were ripped apart by a creature made of the morphed bodies of their fallen allies. Watching with wide eyes the normally steely Lothar turns to Callidon.
"What have you done?"
"What was necessary…"

[Escape]
Once the final gurney arrived in the infirmary the plan was enacted. Leaping from their beds the would-be escapees launched themselves at the guards patrolling the area. Many of the Flylord soldiers are gunned down, and Callidon is blasted from his feet by a shotgun blast, but eventually a bloody melee breaks out on the floor of the infirmary. Armoured guards go down pierced by half a dozen shivs, while Brinn smashes the skulls of Arbites with his bare hands. Turning the guns of the downed guards upon their allies, the last of the Arbites are killed or captured.

Leaving the room dressed in the face-concealing armour of the guards the group makes their way through corridors, Callidon's knowledge of the Arbites leading them past any inquisitive groups. Moving through unmarked winding corridors the group eventually finds themselves at a long corridor filled with defensive turrets. Moving forward the group is fired upon by the turrets, the heavy stubber rounds ripping through their stolen armour and splashing their blood upon the floor. The last of the Flylords are killed instantly, while the rest slowly fade into unconsciousness on the hard deck.

Callidon, Lothar and Hadrian wake back in the infirmary, now cleared of the mayhem they had caused earlier. They are bound, watched by a single Arbites, a cruel faced man wearing the uniform of a Judge. With a snarl Callidon recognises him as Justice Kiefel, the man who helped murder his master and his target aboard the Atrium Summi. Kiefel mocks Callidon, teasing his failed attempt at revenge and demeaning his former master. Callidon's rage grows, and when the Judge brings forward a servo-skull with footage of his master being burned alive it is unleashed. The room begins to shake as Callidon manifests his psychic power, and objects nearby begin to levitate. As Kiefel begins to laugh once again two medical servitors are flung together, and he ceases to exist in a blossom of blood and bone between them. Callidon, now laughing himself, disappears with a pop.

It is a tense few minutes as Lothar and Hadrian attempt to free themselves in the now empty infirmary, before Callidon reappears on top of his bindings. Freeing the others he explains that he made a deal to get them off the ship, and almost on cue the warning klaxons begin to wail. Far outside around the hull of the ship the gellar field of the Atrium Summi is popped like a blister, and thousands of daemonic entities smash into the vessel. Reports begin to come in of massive daemonic manifestations across the ship, of technology failings and of loss of life on a gigantic scale. Taking what they can from the fallen Judge's mangled remains the group arm themselves and begin to run through the shaking hallways of the ship.

All around them electronics malfunction as the ships begins to fall apart. The armoury had been stripped as Arbites and armsmen attempt to combat the hundreds of daemons manifesting across the ship, and the group finds their gear stored in evidence lockers. Cracking open other evidence lockers they find an unconscious Baron Faust, who had been stored in a containment tank after the attempted escape. Now returned to his armour he would Unable to open the containment field they take him with them, wheeling the heavy pod on a grav-tray. After a few more minutes rummaging for supplies a voice announces that the ship had completed its emergency de-translation from the Warp. Almost immediately the alarms are replaced by proximity alerts, the doomed vessel now careening towards a planetary body.

Fully armed and armoured the group blasts their way through the halls of the Atrium Summi, killing any Arbites or armsmen that notice them amidst the chaos. Arriving at the escape pod bay they find a milling mass of crew and soldiers trying to make their way off the ship. Hadrian draws a strange orb from his gear, marked with a symbol of three overlapping circles, and casts it into one of the escape pods. The orb explodes, searing flesh from bones as gobules of acid spray outwards. Those that survive the blast are slowly poisoned by the green smoke that spreads throughout the pod. Donning rebreathers the group enter the now empty pod, and set it on a course to land on the unknown planet. As they plummet towards the world they see the Atrium Summi far above, her back broken and bleeding fumes, slowly being pulled into the gravity well of the same world.


Epilogue

Aboard the bridge of the 'Atrium Summi' Captain-Justice French gave his last command. His armour pierced by the beasts that had invaded his ship, he knew it would only be seconds before his neural links overloaded from the strain of the daemonic manifestations. He looked around at the crew who had died defending him, saying a small prayer for Lt. Lych, whose knife had finally claimed the life of the monster that had attacked the bridge.
Across his vid-screens he saw groups of soldiers fighting to the death against nightmares made reality, prisoners lose in the lower decks and massive breaches across 90% of the ships external hull. He saw his beautiful ship being ripped apart from the inside, her thrusters broken and drifting towards the nearby world. And he saw the four that had caused it. The hated four jogging calmly through the halls of his ship.

Through his anger and as his vision becomes blurred he gives the command all captains dread:
"All hands, abandon ship".


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Appendixes:


Dramatis Persona

  • Inquisitor Callidon: Newly minted Inquisitor, infiltrated the Atrium Summi to kill one of the allies of the Witchhunter who killed his master.
  • Sgt. Hadrian: Ex-Severan Dominate sergeant who turned to the service of the Chaos Flylords forces after weeks of torture. Recaptured by Imperial forces and being transported aboard the Atrium Summi for interrogation in the Tricorn palace on Scintilla.
  • Baron Faust: Noble from a tech-barbarian world. Adeptus Mechanicus took issue with his discoveries on the planet, and he was captured to be transported to the Lathes for trial.
  • Lothar Brinn: Bio-enhanced assassin, once training to be a Vindicare assassin but cast out after rejecting the psionic indoctrination. Infiltrated the ship with Callidon, whom he served with in the past.

Notable Persons:

  • Captain-Justice French: Captain and High Justice aboard the Atrium Summi.
  • Justice Hayne: Chief Warder of the Prison Decks on the Atrium Summi.
  • Justice Kiefel: An infamous Arbites taking passage aboard the Atrium Summi, rumoured to have close Inquisitorial ties
  • 'The Fly Crew': Ex-guardsmen who fell in under Hadrian's leadership during his time in Cell Block 6.

Major Locations

  • 'Atrium Summi': Adeptus Arbites prison frigate responsible for delivering prisoners between Sectors
    • Prison Decks:
      • Null Cells - Common holding cell for identified psykers aboard the Atrium Summi, acts as a null field for all contained
      • Solitary Confinement Cells - Individual cells located within General Confinement, individuals who would present a danger to the general prison population are located here (Lothar Brinn is imprisoned in one of these cells)
      • General Confinement - Where the multitudes of prisoners are located, left to govern themselves whilst the ship is in transit.
      • Infirmary - Hospital wing for the entire prison population, able to serve roughly 100 patients. Largely automated and focused on giving only the most essential aid to prisoners.
    • Upper Decks:
      • Portal - Transferral hub between the prison decks and the upper decks.
      • Evidence - Storage for all the possessions of those stored on board, as well as any evidence to be filed against them. Resembles a vast library warehouse.
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